Push for Indigenous life parity in Qld

·2-min read

Queensland hospitals and health services will soon adhere to legally-binding strategies aimed at achieving life expectancy parity for Indigenous people by 2031.

The state's life expectancy rate for Indigenous males in 2017 was 72 years and 76.4 years for females, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

For non-Indigenous men in 2019 it was 80.3 years and 84.8 years for women.

Health Minister Yvette D'Ath and the Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC) have released a discussion paper on closing the gap by 2031.

She says the paper will help each hospital and health service develop relevant plans by July.

The state government will then pass laws to make the new health equity strategies legally binding.

"This is part of a larger piece of work that will help drive health equity with First Nations peoples and achieve life expectancy parity by 2031," Ms D'Ath said in a statement on Friday.

QAIHC chair Matthew Cooke said the discussion paper marked a positive change in the conversation about Indigenous health.

He said the government's focus would be on mutual collaboration with the QAIHC's 28 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community organisations across the state.

Mr Cooke said that would help the government provide more culturally responsive, equitable and appropriate primary healthcare services to Indigenous communities.

"What we are working on here is not just words but a discussion paper that represents actions and a way forward to making a real difference to the lives of our people, our families, and communities," he said.

"As Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have a voice and a real say when it comes to our health, our community and our models of care will be vital as we work together for a brighter, healthier and equitable future for our mob."